The Phoenix Coyotes have had — to put it lightly — an up-an-down start to 2014.
They started the year with two straight losses before a blowout win was followed by four more losses. Then two wins were followed by two losses. Any bit of momentum has been promptly slowed, and that trend continued Thursday at Jobing.com Arena, where the Coyotes fell 3-2 to the Buffalo Sabres.
Just two nights after thoroughly pounding the Los Angeles Kings 3-0, the Coyotes put together a sloppy effort that included allowing the game-winning goal shorthanded on a slow-rolling puck off a turnover.
Here’s a closer look at the loss by the numbers:
Phoenix forward Antoine Vermette has scored five goals in his last three games after netting a power play goal at the 18:30 mark of the first period, tying Thursday’s game at one.
Vermette has scored eight goals in the Coyotes’ last eight games, including a three-goal performance in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks. Vermette has added two assists for a total of 10 points during that stretch.
The Coyotes have scored a power play goal in 13 of their last 14 games. Phoenix is converting on 20.2 percent of its power plays — good for eighth in the NHL.
The Coyotes had killed off 14 straight penalties before the Sabres struck with 0:02 left on a Paul Bissonnette penalty early in the second period, tying the game at two.
Coyotes’ right wing David Moss snapped a 16-game goalless streak when he put Phoenix on top 2-1 late in the first period.
Phoenix needed just 18 seconds between tying the game at one and taking a 2-1 lead late in the first period. Vermette’s power play goal tied the game at the 18:30 mark of the period, and Moss’ tally at the 18:48 mark put the Coyotes on top.